Daniel DAVID*1,2, Carmen D. COTEȚ1, Aurora SZENTAGOTAI1, James McMAHON3, Raymond DIGIUSEPPE4
1Babeş–Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA
3Albert Ellis Institute, New York, USA
4St. John’s University, New York, USA
Unconditional acceptance (i.e., of self, others, and/or life) represents the rational counterpart of the irrational belief of global evaluation, a key construct of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). As relating the “self”, the concept of self-esteem can refer to global self-esteem (i.e., global evaluation of the self-like “I am a worthless person.”) and/or to specific self-esteem relating specific domain evaluation of the self (e.g., “I am a bad mother.”). In this study, we propose a new delineation between philosophical unconditional acceptance and psychological unconditional acceptance. While philosophical self-acceptance represents a counterpart to global self-esteem, psychological self-acceptance represents the rational variant of specific self-esteem. However, up to now this distinction has not been made explicit and studied accordingly. We addressed this problem by reporting the initial development and psychometric properties of the Unconditional Acceptance Questionnaire (UAQ), a scale measuring unconditional acceptance of the self, others, and life and differentiating between psychological acceptance and philosophical acceptance. The UAQ emerged as a valid candidate for measuring unconditional acceptance as a rational secondary appraisal mechanism. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed along with suggestions for future studies to develop and test the new proposed constructs and the new questionnaire.
Keywords: self, unconditional acceptance, mental health, rational emotive behavior therapy, questionnaire, philosophical unconditional acceptance,
psychological unconditional acceptance